Welcome to OnlineLeads.org. This site has been created to serve as a general primer for insurance agents looking to use online insurance lead service providers.
I myself was an agent for many years and the saw the landscape change dramatically with the emergence of technology. Agents have always been looking for ways to supplement additional leads outside of the word of mouth referral (still the best by the way). As times have changed I've seen agents move more from cold calls, newspaper ads, billboards and radio spots to fax blasts, email blasts and automated callers. Most of the newer methods turned me off to be honest until I got turned on to using internet lead services.
Internet lead generation provided me with a huge boost in new clients and allowed me to eventually retire 2 years before I had planned. The way internet insurance lead services work varies and because of this you will probably get a different opinions of them from every agent you ask. The key is finding the good services and getting the right leads which is why I created this site. Before I get into the details of buying insurance leads I should note that no matter what the quality of service you are using sometimes online leads just aren't the fit. This is generally due to the agent's location and the population and demographics in the area.
So What Is An Internet Insurance Lead Service?
Internet insurance lead services in a nutshell are brokers of insurance leads. They obtain leads and then sell them to agents in the terrritory the lead was generated typically according to the type of insurance requested. Some services will sell leads to an unlimited amount of agents and some sell only exclusive leads. Many services also cater to specific types of leads. The manner in which the insurance lead service sells leads is generally dictated on how they acquire them. Some buy and resell, some generate leads from in-network websites, some generate leads offline and some use a combination of sources.
So what should I be looking for before buying insurance leads?
This is where this site can come in handy. There are quite a few things an agent should be looking for before buying insurance leads online. Following my tips can likely save you a good amount of time, money and heartache. Below are a list of things to look for or avoid when selecting a service.
When researching a prospective insurance lead service one of the first things to look for is what type of data are you going to get with a lead. Will it be a name and address or will it be a comprehensive overview that contains critical information such as age, income, history and other details depending on the lead type? The primary thing to look for here is a sample lead that you can review before making a purchase. This should be offered up front by any top tier lead service but if it is not they should willingly offer one upon request. If a service doesn't offer a sample lead or disclose lead fields before making a purchase then you should move on.
This one is pretty simple. Unless you are specifically buying aged leads any quality lead provider should send you real time leads directly to your email or perhaps a web based interface. This is a must! The lead delivery aspect sometimes takes some trial to determine even if the lead is supposed to be real time. Other factors such as the providers email server and your own email provider can come into play. If you call or email leads as soon as you are notified and find out they've already been contacted or have bought from another agent this is a definite red flag.
Assuming you are purchasing qualified leads the next most important aspect to bring a positive return on investment is pin pointing your target client. This can be achieved through lead filters. Most quality providers are going to offer a set of filters for your leads and many will also create custom filters for you at a reasonable rate. When paying for leads it is often a very value added purchase to pay a little more to get a custom filter. It is really just a numbers game that can be worked out with testing a few campaigns based on filter to see which one brings the greatest return. If you have a custom filter request that a service can't or won't create make sure you try other services as well before settling. At minimum you should be able to filter based on location, lead type and by the primary data fields.
Another major factor to consider is how many agents are getting the same lead you are purchasing. Lower quality services will blast leads out to anyone interested which is definitely not something you want to pay good money for. Look for lead services that only sell leads to a few agents and doesn't sell the same lead to more than one agent per company.
Bogus & Fake Leads
This one is also pretty simple. No matter what you use, a bogus lead or two is bound to get through the cracks from time to time. If you get one of these leads a good company will provide you credit or a refund for that lead. If you are getting a steady amount of fake or bogus leads it is probably time to try another service.
Lead volume is more of a selling point than a detractor but it can make an agents life a lot easier. As an agent it is still worthwhile to use a service that can only provide a limited amount of leads per your filter request a long as they are high quality. If a service can provide high quality and good volume that is ever better. The point here is that lower volume really shouldn't be a reason to not use a service if you are looking to maximize your leads. If you have a very tight filter or cover an area with a smaller population you will probably have to use multiple services to get the amount of leads you'd like.
While cost is often the primary indicator on many types products and services it is not as important with insurance leads. Sure, everyone is interested in lower costs but the real emphasis in this game is getting the best value which encompasses many more variables. The best way to determine if a service has a good price point is by comparing all the other feature sets for similar quality providers and then asking for price quotes from those services. More times than not you will need to try out a couple of providers to determine which ones bring you the best value. As a general rule though you can expect ballpark pricing to be from $5-18/lead depending on lead type and volume requested. Custom filters could also bring an additional charge.
My last recommendation for buying online insurance leads is to test the waters. Testing is the best way to ensure you have the best long term solution for your needs. We recommend you try at least 3 qualified lead services to get started. Once you have a good set of sample data (at least 25 leads) you can determine which provider is right for your business. You might need to move on to other services or you might end up using a of them long term but the bottom line is that taking the time to test multiple services will bring you higher profitability. There are several services that offer free insurance leads on a trial basis which is a good way to do some testing without spending too much money.